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chanDa maddaLe (Drums )

This fifth collection of Adiga's poems is "modernist". and the influence of T.S. Eliot is obvious. But this influence, it is necessary to say, was on a poet who had already recognised the emptiness of the romantic stance and on a poet who refused to swing from adolescent and romantic themes to "spirituality". chanDa maddaLe came out in 1954 and two essays Adiga wrote about this time -- "Hosa Kaviteyannu Kuritu" (Regarding New Poetry) [July 1953] and "Indina Jivana Klishta Endarenu ?" (What Do We Mean When We Say Modern Life is Complex ?) [May 1954] -- indicate that the "modernity" of these poems sprang from a complex response to the Indian situation. Eliot's poetry possibly drew Adiga's attention to the possibility of finding a form and an idiom which could successfully organize and articulate his responses to contemporary life. We find Adiga using myths, allusions and similar "modernist" techiques to communicate a simultaneous awareness of the past and the present. The rhythmical patterns are no longer musical; the idiom and the rhythm are closer to those of contemporary speech, and the choice of words and rhythms are governed by the thematic pattern of the poem and not by a preconceived notion of the poetic.